Virological and histological features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in kidney transplant recipients

F. Fabrizi, G. Lunghi, P. Marai, D. Marcelli, I. Guarnori, L. Raffaele, G. Erba, A. Pagano, F. Locatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Although there are some reports regarding prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in kidney transplant patients, there are scarce data about viraemia, genotyping and liver histology of HCV infection in kidney transplant recipients. Methods. We studied the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies by second-generation screening and confirmatory assays in a cohort of 73 renal allograft recipients. All patients were tested for serum HCV RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of the viral genome. HCV RNA positive patients were subjected to genotype analysis using biotinylated type-specific oligonucleotide probes after hybridization with amplified sample material. Eleven of 73 patients showing raised aminotransferase levels underwent hepatic biopsy. Results. Fifteen of 73 (20%) patients were determined anti-HCV positive. Eleven of 73 (15%) showed detectable serum HCV RNA; no viraemic, seronegative patients were identified. Genotyping showed that HCV subtype 2a was dominant (64%), followed by HCV subtypes 1b(27%) and 1a (9%). Six of 11 (54%) HCV RNA patients and 12 of 62 (19%) HCV RNA negative patients showed raised aminotransferase levels (P= 0.003). Liver biopsies showed histological features of chronic hepatitis with mild or moderate degrees of activity. Conclusions. The prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies and HCV viraemia was 20% and 15% respectively; there was a good association between anti-HCV antibodies and HCV viraemia; hepatic enzyme levels were good indicators of ongoing HCV infection; HCV subtype 2a was prevalent; liver histology showed histological characteristics of chronic hepatitis with mild or moderate degrees of activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Volume11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996

Keywords

  • Aminotransferase levels
  • HCV genotyping
  • Renal allograft recipients
  • Serum HCV RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation

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